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Ladies’ Etiquette Pictures: Wedding Bride

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Chikanobu Yoshu, Japanese, (1838–1912)
Ladies’ Etiquette Pictures: Wedding Bride, 04/18/1893
Ink on Paper
14 in. x 18 13/16 in. (35.56 cm x 47.78 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 98.4.4

Alternate Title: Onna reishiki no zu: (no subtitle)

A bride is escorted by several married women to her wedding. Unlike the individually exquisite kimono each attendee is wearing, the bride is in the plain white gown, highlighting purity and loftiness of her bridal status. This Shint?-style marriage ceremony is one of many rituals instituted by the Meiji government as a part of larger program of educating and disciplining imperial subjects. As indicated by the title “Ladies’ Etiquette,” the work aims at upholding public morality, especially targeting Meiji women. Nearby figurines of an elderly couple, crane, and turtle symbolize fidelity and longevity and uphold the marriage ceremony as a virtuous institution. The audience positioned to “observe” the ritual further signifies and complicates the disciplinary attitude of the work directed at both potential subjects of the work (marrying women) and the general public.

Song Han (student, 2016)

Previously bound with accension numbers 98.4.1-98.4.43 in a book.

Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu”

Color woodblock print.

Object Description
A bride is being escorted to her wedding accompanied by several married women. They are passing a table with an arrangement of auspicious figurines and floral elements. Two figurines are Jo and Uba, an elderly couple who symbolize longevity and fidelity. Jo usually carries a rake (here just the handle is evident resting on his shoulder), and Uba has a broom. They are usually accompanied by cranes (shown above the pine and plum bonsai ) and turtles (here near Jo's feet) that are symbols of long-life or immortality.

For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue.

Purchased in Japan by Professor Bruce Coates in 1998, with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures.

Higuchi Gintaro

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